Front Forums General Maxwell slots for texture maps


This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Mdfmuse mdfmuse 2 years ago.

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    Hello Mihai and gang: I am now using texture maps from (real displacement textures) to create the look of 3D geometry on a simple plane object. These are very high quality maps in 4k and 8k values. I’d like to use the plane with texture maps within Maxwell Studio and Maxwell Render. I can figure out where I place some of the RD-texture maps within a Maxwell material, but am unsure where to place others within Maxwell. Forgive my uncertainty, even with the time I have spent learning Maxwell, sometimes where to place texture maps within Maxwell materials still confuses me. Mihai would you be able to suggest specific slots within Maxwell materials where I can place the textures? Thank you very much!

    RD-Textures uses the following maps to create the look of a specific object on a plane (such as dirt, rocks, forest floor, etc). I indicate below where I plug each RD map into my Maxwell material, for those that I understand. I leave blank those I do not understand:

    Ambient Occlusion:
    – AO map to: ? (unsure which Maxwell material slot to place the AO map)
    – Bump map to: Maxwell Bump texture ‘chip’
    – Color map to: Maxwell Reflectance 0 texture chip. Can also place a lightened version of the color map into: Maxwell Reflectance 90 texture chip
    Depth (displacement):
    – Depth map to: Create a 2nd Maxwell material as a displacement map (to be used in additive mode with the primary Maxwell material). In this 2nd material, the Depth map is placed into the Maxwell displacement map chip. Increase ‘Subdivision’ as needed for smooth displacement.
    – Gloss map to: ? (unsure which Maxwell material slot to place the Gloss map)
    – Normal map to: ? (unsure which Maxwell material slot to place the Normal map)
    – Roughness map to: Maxwell Roughness texture chip.


    Hi there,

    First to avoid confusion, I think you ment to say Layers instead of materials. The material is everything that’s in it, including the layers.

    To begin, you can only have one displacement component per material, it influences the entire material so it’s not tied to any specific Layer. The depth map goes here. For the settings, I would recommend first to use a pretty heavily subdivided plane to begin with, this will make the pretesselation process faster during rendering – you need less Subdivision in the displacement params if your plane already has a fair amount of polygons.

    Use the pretesselated subdivision method in most cases, it’s the fastest. If you start running out of RAM, use the on the fly method but it will be (much) slower, especially the higher the displacement. But you don’t need super high detail displacement if the camera is far away from the displaced surface. Run some tests to see what is an acceptable subdivision setting.

    It looks like the maps from RD Textures use middle grey as zero displacement, so you can leave the Offset at 0.5. If their displacement (depth) maps where using black to represent zero displacement, you would set the Offset to 0. But this is pretty uncommon.

    Next play with the height so it looks more or less as intended. I think for these textures it’s best to not use the percentage of bounding box height, and instead switch it to cm.

    For the rest:

    – you don’t need to also use the Bump map if they supply a highly detailed normal map. So load the normal map in the global bump in the materials Global Properties, and don’t forget to toggle on the Normal map switch to the right of the bump texture chip. The mat editor will then know it’s a normal map and not a bump map and it will also set the bump strength to 100 which is what we want. The default setting of “Flip Y” in the texture editor is correct for the RD Textures normal maps. (this has to do with how the normal map was created – if the Red channel in the RGB normal map goes from top to bottom or from bottom to top. In this case Flip Y needs to be checked)

    – Gloss map vs roughness map. The gloss map is used for renderers which didn’t really have a surface roughness parameter like Maxwell does, and the gloss map instead functions as a sort of inverted roughness map. It specifies how sharp the specular highlights should be. With Maxwell, just use the roughness map instead. So to set up lets say wet gravel or asphalt with shiny bits in it, set up a typical additive layer approach, with one layer at the bottom where your color map goes, an additive layer on top where you can set the Nd to something reasonable like 1.4-1.6, and use the roughness map in this additive layer. You can leave the roughness numeric value itself to 100, or perhaps lower depending on how wet or rough you want the gravel or asphalt to look. If roughness is for ex. 40, then the whitest parts of the roughness map will not be rougher than 40. So the numeric still works, in conjunction with the roughness map as a “limiter” of the roughness map’s brightness.

    Now you will have a pretty shiny looking material, depending on the roughness map of course and you can control how shiny it is by making the roughness map brighter or darker, and you can also control the overall influence of this “shiny” additive layer by lowering or raising its opacity. And you can even use the roughness map inverted as a layer mask for the additive layer (white parts reveal it, black parts hide it).

    The AO map, you can disregard it. It is mostly useful for realtime engines to make a better GI “fake”. You could of course also use it as a layer mask if you want, for example lets say you wanted to have gravel where the lower, more occluded (hence the name of this map) parts start having some green moss. Then you can add a third additive layer to this material, use the AO map as a layer mask (perhaps it needs inverting) and in this layer, add as many BSDFs as you want to create your green moss, using different color textures etc.


    Thanks, Mihai, for your detailed answer. This really clears up how to deal with texture maps in Maxwell!

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